In recent decades, business sustainability efforts have been prioritized in the business sector as a pivotal element of successful and competitive company performance across all industries. Sustainability as a broad but very important concept implies the ability of a given business entity to lead a safe and productive economic performance in a manner that allows for the coming generations to thrive. According to Hammer and Pivo (2017), the concepts of sustainable economic development embody three essential elements that construct a so-called triple bottom line. The elements of the triple bottom line include the “economic, environmental, and social value of the investment that may accrue outside a firm’s financial bottom line” (Hammer & Pivo, 2017, p. 25). Therefore, to lead a business according to sustainability standards, companies must ensure that they contribute to the economic, social, and environmental benefits of the society in which they operate and the planet as a whole.
Deriving from the triple bottom line principle, the approaches that might be effectively used by a business for improved sustainability lie within the three designated domains, namely economic, social, and environmental. Within the economic framework, the methods for sustainable development are “impact investing, responsible property investment, and corporate responsibility” (Hammer & Pivo, 2017, p. 25). The financial assets of the companies should be directed at objects and initiatives that provide long-term benefits. As for the social aspect, the principle of inter-generational equity applies to address tentative social issues. The approaches that might satisfy these needs include “resource stewardship contributions to cost savings, place-making contributions to recruitment and retention,” investment in research, and others (Hammer & Pivo, 2017, p. 27). In such a manner, businesses are expected to contribute to social well-being using their direct performance through business management practices and by initiating interventions outside the organizational operations to resolve social problems.
Finally, the environmental domain within the triple bottom line implies the initiatives aimed at organizing business performance in ways that prioritize wise, sustainable resource utilization and minimization of harm caused to the environment. Among the approaches that allow for obtaining the most successful results in terms of sustainability, there are so-called green practices. For example, such methods as green human resource management, green banking, green marketing, and green supply chain practices require companies commit to prioritizing environmental issues through corporate culture and business processes (Nawangsari & Sutawijaya, 2019). Such practices include the development of management approaches that cultivate environment-friendly behaviors in employees throughout their work. Thus, the abundance of approaches and practices for building sustainability allows businesses to cultivate social, economic, and environmental value for the current and future generations. In the contemporary highly competitive economic and business world, the ability to commit to sustainable business strategies provides organizations with substantial competitive advantages and perspectives for long-term growth.
The adherence to the principles of sustainable development allows the companies in the United Arab Emirates to overcome instability in the economic sphere and resiliently resolve long-term developmental issues. One of the companies that are listed in the Dubai Financial Market is the Dubai Islamic Bank. The organization is one of the most successful banking institutions in the UAE, which has grown significantly since its establishment in 1975 (Bose, 2020). Dubai Islamic Bank operates under Islamic regulations and has a wide system of 85 branches (Bose, 2020). The sustainability strategy employed by the analyzed organization is presented in its Green Banking practice that defines the steps undertaken and planned to be made for business sustainability.
Firstly, the Dubai Islamic Bank operates according to the USA national legislation that has prioritized a green economy (Bose, 2020). Consequently, “in line with the State bank’s Green banking guidelines,” the organization managed to launch several significant practices that allow for economic thriving in accord with the sustainability standards (Dubai Islamic Bank, n. d., para. 3). Indeed, the bank launched the first reloadable debit card that allows for electronic maintenance and maybe “topped up” in addition to the existing debit card (Dubai Islamic Bank, n. d., para. 5). This solution provides more economically sustainable opportunities for consumers.
Secondly, the social issues are particularly met in close relation to the environmental considerations. Dubai Islamic Bank’s Green Banking practice entails e-learning for employees and dissemination of knowledge and behavior for environment-friendly living and working. In particular, the organization has integrated an “internal capacity building program” and “advisory service for staff and customers” to educate them about environmental issues (Dubai Islamic Bank, n. d., para. 6). In such a manner, the society obtains valid information about acute environmental problems and receives means for overcoming the problems, which contributes to the corporate responsibility of Dubai Islamic Bank.
Thirdly, within its Green Banking sustainability strategy, the company initiates multiple environment-friendly practices that minimize waste, reduce harm and burden to nature, and raise awareness in the general public. Indeed, Dubai Islamic Bank promotes “to go green by introducing paperless service, which will also increase the corporate responsibility towards the UAE Government and customers” (Bose, 2020, p. 98). In addition to the paperless policy, the company has started collecting data on the bank’s natural resources consumption to generate long-term sustainable business management planning that minimizes harm to the environment (Dubai Islamic Bank, n. d.). Conclusively, the presented sustainability standards and practices demonstrate the efforts made by the business to ensure its long-term, resilient development with the priority set of cultivating inter-generational economic, social, and environmental value.
Bose, I. (2020). Strategic competitive analysis of a banking organization in UAE: A study on Dubai Islamic Bank, UAE. The USV Annals of Economics and Public Administration, 20(1), 90-104.
Dubai Islamic Bank. (n. d.). Green banking. Web.
Hammer, J., & Pivo, G. (2017). The triple bottom line and sustainable economic development theory and practice. Economic Development Quarterly, 31(1), 25-36.
Nawangsari, L. C., & Sutawijaya, A. H. (2019). Green human resources management for business sustainability in banking institutions. International Journal of Managerial Studies and Research, 7(9), 12-16.